Centre for Fine Print Research University of the West of England Centre for Fine Print Research
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Big Ideas for the Future - UK Research Report

report title: UK Research that will have a profound effect on our Future
publication date: june 2011
authors: Universities UK and Research Councils UK (RCUK)
download the report: Bigideasforthefuturereport.pdf

The Universities UK and Research Councils UK (RCUK) have published a new report Big Ideas for the Future; UK Research that will have a profound effect on our Future, to mark Universities Week 2011. The report uncovers the top 100 pieces of research that will shape our future, and includes research activities at the Centre for Fine Print Research under the headings Commercialising Arts and Humanities Research (p.103) and Arts and Humanities Moving between Quadrants (p.108).

Big Ideas for the Future explores the excellent research taking place in UK higher education at the moment and what it will mean for us in 20 years time. It features ground breaking pieces of research from all fields including science, engineering, social sciences, medicine and the arts and humanities, and is supported by personalities including Lord Karan Bilimoria, Professor Lord Robert Winston, Dr Alice Roberts and Professor Iain Stewart.

Commercialising Arts and Humanities Research:
"The Centre for Fine Print Research at the University of the West of England, led by Professor Stephen Hoskins, has filed three successful patents in the past 10 years: the first produces a commercial return; the second – for a printing substrate registration process – has attracted little interest until recently, but is being looked at carefully by one of the Centre’s industrial partners; and the third, for a ceramic material arising from Centre’s work on 3D rapid prototyping, is expected to be the source of substantial future revenues as it lies at the base of a large amount of planned industrial work." (Big Ideas Report, p.103).

Arts and Humanities Moving between Quadrants
"Professor Stephen Hoskins heads a visual arts research centre at the University of the West of England that explores the relationship in arts and crafts between technology, ideas and making. The Centre for Fine Print Research investigates the development of quality fine print from the Nineteenth Century through to the digital age primarily from a fine art perspective, but its focus on novel materials and processes to push forward innovation in 2D and 3D printing also attracts industrial partners. Around one third of the Centre’s revenue comes from industrial projects, but Professor Hoskins is clear that, despite their success in working with industry, the industrial share should remain below half because they want to stay within the University’s arts faculty.

A recent piece of research encapsulates the interest of Professor Hoskins’ work for both artists and industrial partners. Building on prior research at the Centre into bas-reliefs his team investigated rapid prototyping for the creative arts. This would allow, for example, the possibility for artists to print ceramic objects directly in three dimensions, allowing them to produce unique works without incurring modelling and tooling costs.

A major exhibition of art works produced in 2D and 3D was staged at the end of the research period of the project, which “was very well received”. As the project progressed, industrial firms became increasingly interested, both from the production angle and in terms of developing the equipment required to produce bespoke items.

“The industrial work often starts from pure research – and the pure research here was developing this ceramic material – and then moves through to a slightly more applied stage and that often leads to industry. So we often set the pure research agenda and then that leads out. And once we are going along a line, when industry comes they become industry focused projects because that’s where the money comes from.” Six companies are ‘knocking at the door’ because of the ceramic material developed during this project. Professor Hoskins has identified other exciting potential outcomes of the research, for example investigating printing ceramic bone replacements for surgical use.

Big Ideas for the Future demonstrates the value of public investment in higher education and research and the positive impact this has on economic growth and the social wellbeing of the UK.'
(Big Ideas Report, p.108)

Visit the Big Ideas website at: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/Publications/reviews/reports/Pages/BigIdeas.aspx

Links

Universities Week 2011
www.universitiesweek.org.uk
Universities UK
www.universitiesuk.ac.uk
Research Councils UK (RCUK)
www.rcuk.ac.uk
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